Let Me Explain the Real Reason Why Our Politicians Almost Always Suck

ted-cruz-holding-noseIf there’s one thing both liberals and conservatives can mostly agree on, it’s that our elected officials aren’t very good at their jobs. Heck, who am I kidding, most of them suck. Though we almost always blame the other party’s politicians for the issues with government – rarely our own. When we vote, we’re often essentially choosing the lesser of two evils.

And it’s our own fault.

Sure, we can blame money, lobbyists or other special interest groups all we want. But at the end of the day, we vote for these people.

And when it comes down to our politicians, we make the same mistake time after time after time. We almost always vote for the candidate that tells us what we want to hear rather than what we need to hear.

Think about human nature and how we take advice in the first place. Often times when someone seeks advice, they’re really not looking for advice based on the truth or what they might need to hear. Instead, they’re looking for someone to validate a decision that they’ve already made or a reality they wished were real.

That’s kind of how it works with our politicians. They run countless polls to tell them what their constituents want to hear, then they go out and say they’ll do exactly that – whether they ever intend to do any of it or not. Because, as we all know, if they never fulfill a campaign promise, it’s always the other party’s fault. 

But we’ll never pick a politician that’s a little bit of both worlds, because they’re not going to tell us exactly what we want to hear. We’ll just pick the one who does.

Take myself for instance. I’ve always toyed with the idea of eventually running for office down the road. But I’d never probably be elected, because I wouldn’t pander to one side or the other.

If I were to come out and say that we need to reform our immigration policies to make it more streamlined for immigrants to come here legally, conservatives wouldn’t support me. But then if I followed that by saying that I support laws that would come down on those who still continue to come here illegally, many liberals would turn on me. I’m someone who believes in sensible immigration reform to deal with the illegal immigrants we have now, but I also understand that the United States can’t continue to just allow anyone and everyone who wants to come here to do so without abiding by our laws. I believe the solution, like with most things in life, lies in the middle – where most voters don’t lie.

When it comes to government programs like welfare, I think drastic reforms are needed to ensure that those who need it get it, and rids these programs of those who abuse them. But I think we do that by spending more money to properly staff oversight departments to better curb abuse. That’s where I’d lose conservatives. Spend money? We damn sure know they don’t support spending money on anything but defense. Though by spending this money, and curbing abuse, you’d end up saving money. But we all know “big picture” thinking isn’t something conservatives excel at. I also think we need to invest in real programs that help Americans find jobs to help them get off these programs. Again, another measure that would cost money but ultimately save it in the long-term. But where I’d lose liberals is that I’d support limits on how much people could get, and for how long. At least without meeting certain guidelines that prove (without a doubt) that they’ve done everything they possibly could to get off these programs before hitting these restrictions. Then they could apply for an extension.

And when it comes to guns, a candidate can’t be sensible about those either. Any mention of gun regulations will cost a candidate any support from conservatives. And if a candidate dares to seem even remotely pro-Second Amendment, much of the far-left base will abandon them in droves. With guns a candidate either needs to be against any regulations or for almost all of them. If you’re in the middle, you’ll get almost no support from “the base” in either party. And the base is what you need to win to get elected during primary season.

As a liberal it’s very passé if you come out in support of military action. Just ask President Obama and the liberals who think he’s “no better than Bush” or a “warhawk,” even though he hasn’t started a single war (and continues to avoid going to one with ISIS) in nearly 6 years. When it comes to military strikes, he’s been fairly centrist. And by doing so he’s managed to be a president that liberals think is a war-mongerer and conservatives think is weak on terror. It’s an amazing feat, though it shows how it’s nearly impossible to be a true centrist on anything and get strong support from both sides. I happen to be a centrist when it comes to war. I don’t rule it out, but I think it should only be used when it absolutely has to be.

Do you see where I’m going with this? If there’s a potential candidate like me, someone who is fairly centrist on many issues (at least I think that I am), most voters within each party will simply flock to whatever candidate tells them the most of what they want to hear – even if it’s complete b.s. Especially during primary season when “the base” is often choosing our candidates.

It goes back to the human tendency to seek out what we want to hear rather than what we need to hear. We all tell ourselves that we want honest politicians who represent the American people. But time after time we continue to elect those who simply tell us what we want to hear, then rebel against any candidate who might tell us what we need to hear.

And as long as we keep doing that, our government is never going to change.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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  • Avatar

    Vote out Mitch McConnell and Darrell Issa would be very great start. MSM media are being absolute hush-hush about Issa because they doesn’t want him to lose. Why? They knows that Issa are one of most dramatic politicians who would make headline-worthy news to keep themselves relevant enough.

    McConnell? MSM are pinning on him to win so they can keep their microphones on him all the times for listening to his bullshit anger talks.

  • Matthew Reece

    The real reason politicians suck is that the state is a violent criminal institution. The sort of power it offers appeals most to those who would seek to do the most selfish and evil deeds with it. The procedures for getting to that power favor those who are the best at murdering and/or lying (murdering being more important for getting power in a non-democracy and lying being more important for getting power in a democracy). Given that human nature is unlikely to change anytime soon, the best thing we can do is to abolish the state.

    • LoveArchy444

      I’m going to assume you’re an “anarcho”-capitalist who thinks the world will be a better place if we had to social safety net and and complete unfettered wage slavery. Somalia is the best example of the abolition of the state at the moment that best implements free-market capitalism. No taxes there as well.

      • Matthew Reece

        Somalia is not an example of anarcho-capitalism. It is an example of warlords and religious fundamentalists run amok. That being said, Somalia is better off without a state than they were under Siad Barre’s regime.

        There is no such thing as “wage slavery.” Slavery is involuntary service, whereas no one must work for wages in a stateless society because almost all of the barriers which currently keep people from starting businesses would be removed.

      • LoveArchy444

        False, Somalia has privatized police for example. And yeah, in a stateless society, religious freaks WILL run amok. Why? Because of no united mitary or law enforcement to stop them. And Somalia is what happens when right-wingers end the government. It leads to corruption. Crimnals will always benefit when governments weaken or collapse. Mafias are businesses that operate outside of the law and therefore are unregulated. Black markets are free markets. And the capitalist class whom will control and make laws will be the warlords.

        You idiot, its slavery since you do not own your labor, you’re your labor. If I own a chair, there’s me and the commodity
        I can’t own my labor since that means I’m a commodity meant to serve the interests of a employer who buys me. If you want self-employed workers, end all private property in the means of production and establish collective/cooperative tutelage over the market.

        Social saftey nets work. It reduced poverty by 1/3 between 1967 and 2012 from 26% to 16%. And antipoverty programs increase economic mobility and ends economic inequalities. And countries with strong social saftey nets are better off then counties like Somalia which don’t have it. Its a nessecary evil.

      • Matthew Reece

        Privatized police alone does not make anarcho-capitalism. The claim that a united “mitary” or law enforcement is necessary to stop religious aggressors is made without logical or empirical backing, so I will dismiss it out of hand. Anarcho-capitalism is not left-wing or right-wing, so the statement about right-wingers ending the government is a red herring. The state is the most corrupt institution that there has ever been. Criminals benefit not from the collapse of government, but from its continual operation, as they can use the government’s monopoly on law to carry out their crimes under its cloak of immunity. There is no such thing as an unregulated market; the question is whether regulations will arise spontaneously in the market or be imposed by some coercive organization like a government. In a stateless society, everyone is part of the “capitalist class,” as you call it.

        Name calling is an admission of defeat and ignorance. You own your physical body and whatever private property you acquire through voluntary trade or mixing your labor with unowned natural resources. This is true because arguing otherwise is a performative contradiction. In a free market, an employer cannot buy your labor if you are not willing to sell it. Self-employed workers require private property in order to set up shop and produce goods.

        Social safety nets do not work. By the US Census numbers, poverty fell from just over 30% in 1950 to just under 13% in 1968. The 1973 minimum of 11% has yet to be broken. Clearly, poverty was being solved without government intervention and is now not being solved. The claim that countries with strong social safety nets are better off than counties like Somalia which don’t have them is a cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. There is no such thing as necessary evil. Evil is never necessary.

      • LoveArchy444

        1. You clearly do understand the difference between possession and private property. Possession is things that are used for personal use, such as your car, your clothes, your tools etc. Posession must be gained in a socially fair manner. Private property is property that which goes beyond possession that requires a state-like entinty to enforce it to defend its entitlement claim (possession is a fact, private property is an entitlment claim). The reason why capitalist advocate for private property is because they want wealth and power to be redistributed to a minority, contrary to the majority. If there wasn’t any private property, there would be a lack of landlordism for example. Private property is based on the exploitation of working class. That’s why worker controlled enterprises are not private property as there is a lack of an private owner that reaps workers of their surplus. Get your facts straight.
        2. Well, anarcho-capitalist are right-wing for their support of capitalism. Just like how anarcho-communist are left-wing.
        3. Nope. I’m blunt. If you don’t like the fact I think you’re an idiot and I’m straightforward about it, then kindly fuck off.
        4. Social saftey nets self-evidently work in social democracies very well. Social saftey nets even work here. For example, thanks to the Head Start Program, poor children are more likely to graduate from high school, go to college and enter the middle class.
        5. Also, capitalism is an economic system based on inequality. That’s the whole point of it. That is why there is rich and poor. This statement by you, that your system of unregulated capitalism creates only one class, is completely idiotic. Private ownership of the means of production and any system that operates under a capitalist mode of production will always end up in economic inequality and that is a fact.

      • Matthew Reece

        1. There is no difference between personal property and private property. The claim that private property requires a state to enforce it is nonsensical because the state inherently violates private property through taxation, eminent domain, intellectual property laws, civil asset forfeiture, etc. The reason why capitalists advocate for private property is because arguing against private property requires arguing against its philosophical basis, bodily ownership. To argue that you do not own your body is a performative contradiction, which falsifies the claim.
        3. Nope, you’re just philosophically illiterate.
        4. You cannot prove those claims because you cannot see what would have happened without those programs and compare the results.
        5. Economic inequality is the natural result of differing ability and willingness to do work and gain knowledge, as well as differing natural resources from place to place. In a free market, there is nothing wrong with this. But governments exacerbate inequality to the point of a problem through currency debasement and burdensome laws which steal purchasing power from the poor and give it to the rich. Also note that “class” does not exist; each individual person exists. “Class” is only a mental abstraction and grammatical shorthand.

  • LoveArchy444

    Sure, are some of our politicans in our office there because of our votes. Yes, but rememeber, corporations/private companies fund these politcans as well, our votes most of the time do not count. Not to mention, when it comes to presidential elections, the government can ignore the primary voter by use of delegates whos vote has more worth then the people. That doesn’t sound democratic.
    So here’s two things we should do to make our government better so it truly is a democratic republic:
    1. Take out corporate and private company money out of the government via making it illegal.
    2. Get rid of superdelegates.
    Also, make sure those who are voted into our government come from our consent that is truly democratic such as concensus-based desicion making or (3/4) majority vote. We should also make the government focus on the majority of the people such as working class families, not just an economic elite that end up rigging the market in their favor.

  • Steve Brains

    Makes a lot of sense. I think the best politician is a different critter from the best representative.

    “Hi I am Steve Brains and I’d like to represent YOU in the Next Congress. What i believe in and who I have sex with really doesn’t matter. of all the issues facing us today, what do you want ME to do for you about the top three when I get to Washington?”

    “Now, I wanna make a deal with you. i am gonna send you a weekly newsletter. YOU are gonna read it, answer the questions as honestly as possible and SEND IT BACK. I will read it along with the replies from your friends and neighbors and total the results. If there is a majority desire from this district, that is how i will vote FOR YOU.

    If there is no clear majority, I’ll send another letter and fine tune the questions. There will always be a place for you to write in your own ideas, suggestions and opinions. Please use them. Because if you don’t tELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, i can’t get it for you in Washington. Thank you for your vote.”

    • Sandy Greer

      I wish you posted like this all the time. My compliments.

      And, you should think about running. Even for city council, or county commissioner. Locally, we can make changes that benefit people without compromising our ideals.

      Just a thought I had.

      • Steve Brains

        I am a 1%er progressive in an 80% RED district. The Current Rep is the Grandson of the County Clerk. I don’t have a chance here.

      • Steve Brains

        Thanks. our flirting was deleted I think. I can’t find it.

      • Sandy Greer

        It’s still there. That was more than flirting on your part. And my Bad Boy days are over. So best we let that thing die.

        But I did ask Barlow why he couldn’t get another license to practice law – to replace the one he lost in a bar fight.

        Your OP struck me because my Rep (Tea Party) does ask us for regular input. Obviously, I understand about red districts.

        But local office – city council especially and even county commissioners can be non-partisan. You can make some real changes there that affect people daily. More so than in Washington, even.

      • Steve Brains

        Over? WHY???? and I am not BAD TO THE BONE, hard as a stone… so much… any more. I think you would call Me ‘charming’ and ‘interesting’. until Midnight when you would call Me ‘George Burns!!!’ (Oh GOD!)

      • Sandy Greer

        WHY???? Because I had a good man – a Hero – and now I can’t take less.

        I know you’re not BAD TO THE BONE – or I wouldn’t talk to you. And I love self-deprecatory humor. But I’m not transgendered; won’t defend against that. Twisting words at other’s expense, sexual innuendos, and SMEARS – Bad Boys.

        Burn me again – I’m out of here. No threat. A promise.

        Didn’t catch the SMEAR. I stop reading at first sign of SMEARS. Self defense? Common. But the few who distinguish themselves – stand out from the crowd – rise above ‘like for like’ – are extraordinary. My heart soars at the sight – for the hope they give.

        I value kindness, treat Opponents with respect, and enjoy discovering there is more to a person than I
        thought – for the better.

        I read something earlier as good as your OP here. Written by a wordsmith, it was about fishing a remote area, difficult to access. Too much hyperbole at the end for my taste. But there’s always writing, for wordsmiths, who don’t enter politics.

      • Steve Brains

        Sorry you can’t take an OBVIOUS JOKE!! There IS no SMEAR. There is nothing wrong with TGIDHADAM kind of people (ThankGod I Don’tHave A DickAnyMore)

        YOu are mad for your own sensitivities, but I make you soar and give you hope?

        I do that already. and that was SUB PERB holy.

      • Sandy Greer

        You said this:

        >He asked for ONE bit of logic from Me.. So I GAVE IT TO HIM. Did you catch it? Not some of My best writing, but I SMEARED him but goood!

        Now you tell me there IS no SMEAR – and I can’t take an OBVIOUS JOKE!! Then you tell me how I feel – don’t bother to ask – or even consider if I was mad I wouldn’t have opened this convo with you in the first place. You accuse me unjustly. As usual.

        No. You don’t make me soar; don’t give me hope. Far from it. You can be ‘interesting’ – but that ‘charm’ of yours needs some work.

        I just don’t know how to have a normal convo with you, and not get burned. Second time – I gotta let it go.

        Congratulations, Barlow-Brains. You win again.

      • Steve Brains

        THIS was what you were talking about!!! I thought it was the “my Bad Boy days are behind me..” to which I quipped a transgender non sequitur.

        Try NOT expecting your DREAM to come true in every other person.

        BEsides, WHO are YOU, a one hit wonder @ love to judge ME, who despite a beheading and a nearly criminal divorce STILL managed to open up enough to take you as you are and NOT inflict My hopes and fanatasies on you.

        I am sorry you chose HURT as your response. But that is your’s to choose, and was never My intent.

        Big GooberTurd on the other hand… asked for logic and got a double handful of it.
        He seems unmysteriously absent today. Think he got a JOB?

      • Sandy Greer

        You jumped to conclusions and didn’t give benefit of doubt. It turns people away.

        No, you don’t take me as I am. You tell me what I feel (first mad, now hurt) and expect (dreams come true) You project onto me what you will. If I deny being mad – You say I’m hurt. You don’t need me at all – I just get in the way of your projections.

        You even call me a one hit wonder. Nice. As good as when you said you’ve no respect for me and I’m not credible – you know, back when you were ‘flirting’.

        It shouldn’t be this hard to talk with somebody. You’re interesting – but you’re too much work. And I get burned for my trouble.

      • Steve Brains

        All I can see, is what you show Me from behind the Big Green Curtain.

        So, for the record, you feel now and never have felt…
        EITHER HURT nor ANGRY?

        Where is the joy in your words to make Me understand that? It’s not there.

        BTW, projection if assigning YOU…MY feelings. That ain’t happening.

        Sorry I thought I was dealing with a grown up. What part of Me “Magically Disappeared” when the conversation changed? My rapier wit became a plastic light saber? My years of sarcastic humor and ‘tongue so far in my cheek it’s wiping my butt’ dialog should vanish as I and summoned to appear in the Lady Greer’s Court?

        I don’t think ALLEN himself takes as much literary license as I am prone to (and known to do) on a DAILY BASIS. Let’s talk about the positive things I have publicly observed about you, not just what makes you angry or defensive to hid your hurt. I don’t even talk to GOD about some of the things I openly share with you in explanation of ME.

        Yet somehow EYE am personally responsible for your defensiveness? And since WHEN did the entire congruence of infinitely multiple universes converge on the very spot you choose to occupy? how did every other living soul, be they man, beast or apparition suddenly become completely responsible for the feelings you claim to NOT have?
        Answer that privately honey, because when you finally get THAT revelation, you can publish yourself into Bill Gates wealth because you will have solved the puzzle of explaining women.

        Chill out!

      • Sandy Greer

        No hurt/anger. Impatience you don’t believe me. I can’t make you believe me. I feel ‘dismissed’ – Doesn’t matter what I say – You tell me what I feel. I believe what you say, but you don’t – me. And why would you want to inspire negative emotion in me? I treat you with respect – You tear me down. No sense I waste negative emotion on what I can’t control – you.

        >I don’t even talk to GOD about some of the things I openly hare with you in explanation of ME.

        I know. And I appreciate that. If you observed anything positive about me publicly – it’s my ‘heart’ – made you feel comfortable sharing, knowing I would understand. But I can’t make up or your shitty divorce. Or the girlfriend that died. I wish I could.

        I know the courts don’t favor men, and leave men broken. But I left my own first husband while I still liked him. Left him standing, on his feet, able to start over, head up. I didn’t cut him off at the knees, just because I could. To this day – neither of us speaks ill of the other. As good as it gets, for divorces.

        I told you I was widowed. I know how a whole world can change in the blink of an eye. Mine was sudden and unexpected – just like yours. I know the disbelief it’s even possible to happen. I know it hurts.

        But your confidences I treated with respect. You called me a ‘one hit wonder’ because I’m widowed. Not fair – not The Right Thing.

        I’m not a voyeur. Don’t care who’s under your desk or in your bed. Please don’t regale me.

        I crave nothing from you. I’m here because I thought of a man goes to a great deal of trouble to reach a deserted spot – sits for an hour, taking it in – before bothering to fish. Only a wordsmith can evoke that feeling in a woman who never fished.

        I look for the good in you (wordsmith) Listen to what you have to say (sans voyeurism) Treat you with respect; don’t insult you – I deserve the same. I’ve always been loved; never abused. Because I don’t
        waste my time on those who devalue/insult me.

        I hope you consider what I say. Please don’t think I’m ‘intensely involved’. Only a ‘grown up’ would not lash out at you with insults – as you do me. I’m not self-centered and ‘defensive’ for sticking up for myself and saying “no” to disrespect. I’m nobody’s doormat – and good on me for that.
        I am feeling better today, thank you for asking. I will ‘chill’ when your insults stop – your respect begins – when you believe me, accept me as I am, and stop putting onto me whatever it is you want to.

      • Steve Brains

        If it’s ANY trouble to chat with a spectre, then why bother? UNLESS there is something there that you crave.

      • Steve Brains

        Feeling better today?

      • Steve Brains

        When were you ever a BAD BOY? I have never had a curiosity about the Transgendered.. BEFORE…

      • Steve Brains

        Thank you. Most of the snark is blog bot induced self defense. The Bean’s, the OY’s, the GooberTurd’s..

        He asked for ONE bit of logic from Me.. So I GAVE IT TO HIM. Did you catch it? Not some of My best writing, but I SMEARED him but goood!

        My approach was almost how it was intended to be in America. The few rich landowners, caring for their flock of serfs and tolerating the few individuals. What they never imagined was the Frontier that never ends growing in this country.

        What the Founder’s had envisioned was and America without public education (50 years hence), without mechanization (50 years hence) without automatic weapons (80 years hence) and without both medicine and science more powerful than religion. or they would have legislated against it.

        They WANTED the feudal Government of the middle ages more than the commercial political Government of today.

      • mosquito

        You’re full of crap. The feudal government of the middle ages was a
        military heirarchy. There is not a hint of interest in a military
        heirarchy among the founding fathers of our nation.

      • Steve Brains

        Read the NRA version of 2A.

      • GIve me a break. I’m not going to read the NRA version of anything. The NRA consists of loony conspiracy theorists. All loony conspiracy theorists are certifiably insane, failing, as they do, to distinguish their imagination from reality.

      • Steve Brains

        YOu fit right in!!

      • mosquito

        You’re full of crap. I eschew all loony conspiracy theories. So, I could not possibly fit right in with loony conspiracy theorists, moron.

      • Steve Brains

        Then WHY the need for a 2nd Amendment that SPECIFICALLY STATES the essential need for a WELL REGULATED MILITIA?

      • This is a moronic straw man, one of the most basic of logical mistakes. Who said that there was a need for a 2nd Amendment? I have two pencils but there is really no need for both of them.

        Moreover, having a well regulated militia by no stretch of the imagination implies that we have a military heirarchy. You would have to be quite a moron to claim that the USA has a military heirarchy.

      • Avatar

        More and more moron from you, mosquito!

      • Steve Brains

        Then WHY are they standard equipment for testing?

      • mosquito

        Why are what standard equipment for testing?

      • mosquito

        You write: “What the Founder’s had envisioned was and America…”. Why the hell do you have a possessive form of “Founder”? Why the hell do you have an “and” before America? My God, you’re a moron.

      • Steve Brains

        I am here for political porpoises only. Grammarical guppies like you are more than useless and annoying, you are not even decent food for catfish.

      • Steve Brains

        Actually, I had added a had where a had had not the reason to be.

  • Leaning Blue

    It all goes back to the point I keep making and that’s voter apathy. If middle of the road people got out to vote in every election we probably wouldn’t have this problem. Everyone gets out and votes during presidential elections and only the crazies come out and vote in the midterms. That is a recipe for disaster. Just look at the damage done as a result of the 2010 midterms. We could of had a jobs/ infrastructure bill passed and possibly immigration reform and equal pay. Instead, because of the TP crazies, we’ve had government shutdowns and austerity which most likely reversed any progress we made, and nothing gets done because everything is controversial now.

  • Thomas Remme

    You need a 3rd party…

    • Steve Brains

      I think a NO party system should be trialled. For the next 3 Presidencies, Congress shall have no partisan labels. ALL ballots have only NAMES, and the top ten contributors. Like Mutual Fund prospectus has it’s main holdings listed. That way, you know who is buying your vote and what percentage of that candidate they own.
      Print it right on the ballot.